I had three appointments today. Doesn’t that just sound so dull compared to the french:

J’ai eu trois rendez-vous, aujourd’hui.

Rendez-vous to me sounds like a terribly exciting thing. Sounds like it, but in french it’s generally not.

Today was pretty good though. We had an appointment at ‘Pomme d’Api’ which is the name of our Halte Garderie – or nursery. Louis will be going three days a week, starting in three weeks time. My baby is growing up.

But getting him to nursery – what a rigmarole. I got the ‘pre-inscription’ form ages ago but didn’t give it in because we didn’t have a CAF number. (If NZ was less efficient they would give every family a Working for Families number, I guess, and that’d be similar.)

I handed in the form a week ago and got put on a waiting list – or so I thought. But I got a call on Wednesday to say Louis was in, and I was given un rendez-vous: 16h, Vendredi. Four pm. Friday.

Sweet. I managed the phone call in French… sort of. But rather than try to figure out which documents I needed to take I figured I’d just take everything – tous les papiers!

Realized after hanging up that I didn’t verrify where the meeting would be. Phoned on Friday afternoon a few hours before the appointment to check – is it at the Mairie? (council offices, where I handed in the ‘pre-inscription’ forms)

“Oui, oui, chez nous.” They assured me.

But when I got there at 4pm they had no record of my appointment. I managed to communicate that a lady phoned me (une femme appelez moi) yesterday (hier) and told me my appointment was at four (dit moi j’ai un rendez-vous a 16 heures). It occurred to me that my appointment might have been at Pomme d’Api – the daycare centre itself. So I asked, perhaps (peut etre) the appointment is at the ‘halte garderie’. The lovely lady phoned them and checked – and yes. That was where I was supposed to be.

Fortunately was only five minutes walk.

The meeting went okay, but good thing I took tous les papiers! Needed pretty much everything. And then some. At one point I asked,

avez vous le internet? (have you the internet?)

peut etre nous utilisons google translate? (perhaps we use google translate)

and so we figured it all out. I still have a few pieces of paper work to collect before Louis starts, and we need to buy him some slippers. Not certain why, but there you go.

He also must take a doodoo – a cuddly or toy. I don’t dare take Chimney sweep out of the cot and Louis only has him for sleeping. I asked if the kids take a nap (fait une sieste) at halte garderie and she said no. Hopefully she understood me and I understood her… because then we’re safe to keep chimney sweep at home. Louis can take Tux or cookie monster.

We have to name EVERYTHING of course and will probably need to get the wee man a bigger backpack – we just have a tiny buzzy bee backpack but I don’t think it’ll fit a full change of clothes, slippers and a toy.

Felt such a rush when we finally left our rendez-vous – with my massive pile of paperwork, which had actually gotten bigger. But, endangered rain forests aside, success!

My other two appointments were lovely and social and in english. We had coffee/play group in the morning – and a bus ride there and back which I thought Louis would love, bus-obsessed as he is, but apparently being on a real one is less fascinating than watching them from the outside.

In the evening I had a girls night out with a whole lot of other english speaking Mums I’ve met through Message. There was a big group and only one unfamiliar face. We had a feast of a dinner and drinks, talked and laughed and it was just great.

And late. Oops. But fortunately, in my absence, the babies had both slept all evening. Got home moments before I would have become a pumpkin. Not sure I’ll make it to writers’ group this afternoon. Pretty tired.

Elena and Louis shared a bedroom all night last night, for the first time. There was only one instance of waking each other and Elena was probably hungry anyway. I fed her, went back to bed, and then got to sleep-in till nearly nine!

Unheard of.

So, we have just two more weeks of normal – Louis and Elena with me all day every day. Then we’re off on holiday with my folks and after that Louis is starting at the halte garderie. Can you believe he starts school in a year if we stay here? It’s preschool but it’s class and classified as school – l’ecole maternelle. They start the September of the year in which they turn three. Did we step into some time of time-warp-speeder-upper?